Opel Ampera-e range calculator

Opel Ampera-e range calculator
Opel Ampera-e range calculator

The range calculator that Opel made for the Ampera-e uses the WLTP test cycle, which is very useful not only for Opel Ampera-e’s potential buyers, but also for the Chevrolet Bolt EV – since it’s essentially the same car.

 

Opel is one of the first automakers to adopt the WLTP cycle (Worldwide Harmonized Light Vehicle Test Procedure). This test cycle is very similar to the one used by the EPA in the USA, which provides realistic range and efficiency figures, unlike the figures provided by the NEDC (New European Driving Cycle).

 

 

Let’s see how this new test cycle is performed.

 

WLTC driving cycle for a Class 3 vehicle

 

WLTC Class 3 test cycle

 

Now that you know how the WLTP is performed, let’s see how does the Opel Ampera-e behave.

 

External

Temperature

Range by Speed with Heating/Cooling on

Range by Speed with Heating/Cooling off

Low

Medium

High

Extra High

Low

Medium

High

Extra High

-20º C

167 km

242 km

256 km

210 km

463 km

432 km

382 km

253 km

-10º C

180 km

256 km

269 km

217 km

470 km

439 km

388 km

257 km

0º C

240 km

316 km

319 km

245 km

507 km

473 km

418 km

277 km

10º C

357 km

412 km

393 km

281 km

549 km

512 km

453 km

300 km

20º C

448 km

472 km

434 km

300 km

565 km

527 km

466 km

309 km

30º C

371 km

422 km

399 km

284 km

551 km

515 km

455 km

301 km

40º C

269 km

368 km

361 km

268 km

538 km

502 km

444 km

294 km

 

Did you noticed anything strange?

 

The range while driving at low speeds and extremely low temperatures depends a lot if you use the heater or not. With the heater off you get to do 463 km, however if you turn it on you’ll only achieve 167 km, which is 296 km (64 %) less.

This is the reason why I think that for extremely cold places, like Canada or Norway, maybe the Chevrolet Bolt EV/Opel Ampera-e isn’t the best electric car. However, if you can get through the winter by using just the heated seats, this is a great car.

If you do use the heater, you might go further if you drive faster, so that the heater is on for the less time possible. This wouldn’t happen in a Renault Zoe – as you can see in its online range calculator -, since it has an efficient heat pump.

 

I’m confident that GM will introduce a much more efficient heater (heat pump) to its electric car in the 2018 model year.

What do you think? Are the more than 4.000 people who already ordered this electric car in Norway aware of how much inefficient its heater is?! A 64 % drop in range is no joke…

 

 

More info:

http://www.opel.de/fahrzeuge/ampera-e/uebersicht/partials/reichweite/reichweitensimulator.html

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Worldwide_harmonized_Light_vehicles_Test_Procedure

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Knut7

I’ll repeat what I wrote to you in that FB-group here. Are you sure 167km is a bad result and that the heater is not suited for cold places? Have we got WLTP data from other cars with heat pump? A heatpump isn’t very effective at -20*C. I’m not sure your statement is correct: “This is the reason why I think that for extremely cold places, like Canada or Norway, maybe the Chevrolet Bolt EV/Opel Ampera-e isn’t the best electric car. ” This might very well be the best electric car available for these conditions? At temperatures around 0*C the… Read more »

Hi Knut.

You can compare how much the heater influences the range with the Renault Zoe.

Let’s not forget that with -20º C outside, you’ll probably driving very slow due to snow falling and icy roads.

Only 167 km range is very little, I agree. But let me show you why that’s irrelevant: 167 km / 18.9 km/h = 8h 50 m trip Does anyone spend that much time inside a car WITHOUT stopping…? I really, really like your blog, but your Achilles’ heel as a blogger are your apples to oranges comparisons. 🙂 A more or less decent comparison would be: Zoe, 60 km/h constant, -10 ºC, 17″ wheels = 225 km (3h45 driving!) Ampera-e, WLTC high (for comparable average speed), -10ºC = 269 km (4h45 driving) With those driving times, again irrelevant Only 20%… Read more »

Knut7

RMNentropy mentions duration, I talked about that in the FB-group, but forgot about it here. Driving almost 9 hours with a 40*C temperature difference, is that bad? The Zoe calculator doesn’t seem to use WLTP protocol/data, does it?.So comparing data between these two range calculators is difficult for two reasons. 1. The heatpump is less efficient at -20 than -10*C. Knowing the The difference in consumtion between a heatpump and resistive heating at -10*C will be way less at -20*C. 2. The WLTP test cycle includes a lot of stop and go, with lots of variations in speed. Average speed… Read more »

Knut7, because the Zoe calculator is not based on WLTC’s I wrote “A more or less decent comparison would be”.

And I agree with your reasoning regarding the heatpump and speed comparisons, my thoughts exactly.

You both have reasonable arguments. Thanks for sharing them.

We have to wait until every automaker adopt the WLTP cycle to make better comparisons.

Yet, as an “efficiency junkie”, I see the lack of a heat pump as a major failure. The same way as I see the lack of heated seats in some electric cars.

Apkungen

I usually like the articles here but this one has so many wrong conclusions I don’t know where to start. First of all, the “very low” speed is at an average speed of around less than 20km/h. Check the chart. 167km range will mean that the car will run for around 9h before it needs to be charged, probably better than most gasoline cars at -20C. Off course 9h at -20C will deplete the battery. Secondly: A heat pump won’t do shit at -20C. The heat pump is as most efficient when the “temperature lift” is as small as possible.… Read more »

Yes, it’s true that at very low temperatures the advantage of a heat pump is greatly reduced. However, not every heat pump is created equal. There are newer heat pumps that work at -30º C with “positive” COP (1,1). Technology has been improving, we can’t compare old heat pumps with the newer generation. “In cold climates An air source heat pump designed specifically for very cold climates can extract useful heat from ambient air as cold as -20F or even -25F (-30C). Manufacturers include Mitsubishi and Fujitsu.[3] One Mitsubishi model provides heat at -35C, but the Coefficient of performance (COP)… Read more »

Terawatt

That’s a relevant point, I suppose. Mountain crossings in winter in any car do however require extra precautions, like bringing blankets, food and lots of warm clothes. You shouldn’t however assume that you can put the climate control at 25 C and sit in the car in your t-shirt shirt waiting many hours. 🙂 In that situation you’d use the heated seats and warm clothes, and coffee if you’re me, to stay comfy while using only a small fraction of the energy required to heat the whole cabin to a homely temperature. Besides, these days information technology makes it easy… Read more »

apkungen

9h of heating at -20 will drain any car’s battery. Take the Zoe 40 yourself up north to -20C and drive it at 18km/h, I doubt it will go farther than 100km. Talking about mountain crossings like every person does them all the time you sound like a petrol head talking abour their 1000km trips they do without stopping every other day or so ;). I am working with energy efficiency in buildings and up here in Sweden we have lots of heat pumps in buildings. It seams as if you can get a “positive” COP even at low temperatures… Read more »

Terawatt

Since the energy a heat pump uses is itself dissipated as heat, but this heat doesn’t count towards the COP, it’s hard in the real world not to beat resistance heating in all conditions, in terms of how much heat we got and how much electricity we drew from the battery. The greater problem is that your heating system can’t pump enough heat when you really need it (when it’s extremely cold) unless it’s dimensioned to deliver ten times what you normally need. So it either becomes very expensive, or you’re stuck with a bad heater when it’s really cold.… Read more »

sapcmc

Let´s not make a mountain out of a molehill. We are looking at the very worse case scenario here. How often will that happen even in the Nordic countries? 2 weeks in a year? Really. I lived for a few years in Norway and Russia (St. Petersburg area) and although -20 and -25C temperatures occur they seldom do during winter and when they do it is for just a few days. If you had to choose between an Opel Ampera or a ZOE I guess the answer would be pretty easy in favor of the Opel …. There are no… Read more »